Charles Fried, former Solicitor General for Reagan, former member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, tireless proponent of imperial power for REPUBLICAN presidents of a certain pedigree - he and Alito practically invented the unified executive road to fascism - present fixture at Harvard Law School is clear as can be on torture.
From Bill Moyer’s show last night.
FRITZ SCHWARZ: And I think, Charles, you would agree with me, that Congress does have the power to prohibit torture ù constitutional power. And the president has no constitutional power to authorize torture, even though this administration has done that both by American forces and by rendering people to Egypt and Syria to torture people when we send them there.
CHARLES FRIED: Well, I feel very differently about torture than I do about warrantless eavesdropping.
BILL MOYERS: Why do you see a difference between those two?
CHARLES FRIED: Because torture is horrible, immoral, and causes the total meltdown of our human inhibitions and about how we treat each other. While the warrantless eavesdropping that I think was going on under the NSA and perhaps still is going on is absolutely necessary. The FISA restrictions on it, if they were restrictions, were mindless, foolish. And I don't think the American people care. They do no harm. They do a great deal of good.
But watch what happens a few minutes later
FRITZ SCHWARZ: --Charles, you know, in the first place, we've made a lot of progress between us. Charles agrees they don't have the power to torture. They can't break the law. That's an issue in the Mukasey hearings right now. Secondly, we agree, Charles agrees that there should be real--
CHARLES FRIED: I didn't quite say they don't have the power to torture. I say that they mustn't, as human beings, do it.
So, you see, they mustn’t “as human beings” do it, but as a junta no one can stop them when they do it. Useful thing for Republicans The Constitution in the hands of a genteel legal dirt bag like Charles Fried.
But never fear, Brother Fried has the common touch.
I'd prefer Jay Leno to Frank Church because the real check on these people is when they become the butt of late-night comedians. It's over with them then.
Jay Leno, speaking of Republican tools. Read the transcript and notice how Fried works in the Clinton pardons. You can see the Leno influence on his legal thinking.